Saturday, the girl and I got back from a much-needed week at the beach. I spent most of my time doing as little as humanly possible down there. Read a couple of pure fluff books. Snoozed a lot. Did a kayak tour of a swampy/marshy river. Went out one day and half-heartedly took some shots of some kite surfers who were playing near the shore. (If any turn out un-horrible, I will probably post them here).
Upon my return home, I found that the Sigma lens I sent in for repair had finally returned. It had been with them for over a month. When I opened the box, I was pretty surprised (and quite happy) to see that instead of repairing my lens, they had shipped me a brand new one, complete with lens cap, shade, protective bag and all documentation (why it took them a month to swap a lens is beyond me, but I'm not bitching). Not a bad deal considering that I bought my lens used for about half the retail price. Perhaps customer service isn't dead after all.
Also in my absence, my pre-ordered copy of the new Bad Brains CD had arrived. I held (and still hold) great hope for this CD, as it was produced by Adam Yauch (MCA from the Beastie Boys) who has been a lifelong Bad Brains fan. The disk didn't hook me immediately, but I think it's stronger than their last one (perhaps two) studio releases. Maybe it will grow on me. But it could never come close to the seminal "I Against I".
And while we're on a musical subject, it looks like Bad Religion have a new disk out next week. They are one of those rare bands who's current work totally rivals their early stuff. They don't seem to have lost a bit of steam or creativity over the years. I'm holding my breath for this one. I expect great things.
Anyway, the Sunday after my return home, I met up with Spearman and his girl Donna for a ride at Rosaryville State Park in MD. I'd been off the bike for weeks, so I fully expected to get my ass handed to me by both of them. Lucky for me, they spent the night before boozing and didn't get home till 2am. Since they were both riding with hangovers, I didn't get dropped *too* badly. Spearman still managed to handily leave me in the dust. But he was kind enough to wait up every couple of miles.
Monday night, I drove down to Arlington then biked into Georgetown where I met up with Spearman again, this time at a favorite pizza/beer joint. Our final destination was a free outdoor show at Fort Reno by local punk legend Ian MacKaye's band "The Evens". (It also didn't hurt that the opening band was that of former McKaye band mate and Fugazi bassist Joe Lally). Once Butch, the third member of our motley crew, arrived we remounted our bikes and pedaled up Mount Georgetown. Essentially heading straight north into the city. Arriving at the park, we locked up our steeds, met up with Donna and Stoner and set off to find a place in the grass to recover from our climb. (Well...at least *I* was looking for a place to recover). As we walked around, we saw another local punk hero, Henry Rollins wandering through the crowd. Mostly unmolested by the gathering horde.
Eventually we found a clear patch of grass and settled in. Before long, another local hero, Gwadz, comes wandering by and hangs out for a bit.
The show was decent, although not really my kinda music (I prefer the edgier/angrier/loudier kinda punk). The event provided the photographers amongst us (basically, everyone other than Donna and me) an opportunity to shoot some up-close-and-personal photos of the bands in action. I made the choice not to bring my camera along (not wanting to ride with pounds of expensive stuff strapped to my back. I knew the climb outta G'town would be bad enough without it). Gwadz has some photos posted on his blog (linked above). Spearman has promised to post his, post haste. Not sure where (or even if) Stoner and Butch share their masterpieces. But I'd like to see what they were able to catch. They both have skillz behind the lens.